The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE South African Home Affairs Department has waivered travel requirements such as birth certificates and consent letters for foreign children entering their country, Sunday News has learnt.
The Minister Aaron Motsoaledi signed the waiver giving access to children who will be traveling with either parents or guardians saying they are fostering economic development.
In a statement, the Minister Motsoaledi said;
“This improvement in our admissions policy builds on the work the department has been doing to contribute to economic growth and investment. As of Friday 8 November 2019, foreign children can enter and depart the country without being required to provide birth certificates, consent letters and other supporting documents relating to proof of parentage,”.
Previously children who intended to travel to South Africa from Zimbabwe had to produce a birth certificate as proof of parentage and an Affidavit from the parent who was not travelling with the child to prove that they had indeed agreed to let the child travel.
Scores of people traveling with children from Zimbabwe have also been turned away at ports of entry for failing to produce the proof of parentage or consent form the other parent amid fears of child trafficking that had been on the increase.
The South African Home Affairs department said they had communicated the changes to immigration officials at ports of entry, airlines and maritime industries.
The Minister of Home Affairs further said the change was set to have a positive change on the impact of tourism as they approach the festive season where scores of people travel to and from South Africa.
However South African children still need to provide the said supporting documents for inspection at ports of entry in line with the requirements of the Children’s Act of that country.
The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe was not available for comment on the new development.